Oasis in Ettalong 2024

House Notes – Oasis in Ettalong

The original building on site was a one bedroom cottage built in 1942 for the American pilots stationed at the airstrip on Trafalgar avenue – there was a garage built later and an outdoor toilet, all on the small relatively small 495sqm block with neighbours on three sides and two mature Lilly Pilly trees on the street boundary. The idea was to refurbish and link the existing structures so that a series of courtyards still separated the series of buildings seprated by glazed corridors like a train. This brings light and ocean breezes and there is no need for aircon even on the hottest days – hte house creates its own air circulation. It is a zero carbon building, except for the burnished slab and plantation pine ceilings, this low cost house design incorporates all reused, repurposed salvaged material which is not dressed, uses the patinas and the history of the materials to create cosy and soulful atmosphere. The spaces are separated by courtyads and linked by glazed corridore and vestibules. The elongated plan arrangement reorients the linked spaces to the North maximizing solar heat in winter while preventing any sun entering the house in summer with adequate eaves. It was built by a husband and wife team using recycled Australian hardwood ,panels of entire floors cut out of houses before the bulldozers moved in, slavaged western red cedar glazing, toughened glass from decomissioned pool fences, billowing curtains from stage set calico, 8m long Douglass fir painted beams sourced from demolition , furniture, light fittings , air, sunshine..everything carefully sourced and placed to achieve a very low cast and very low embodied energy building that is a joy to live in and very practical to use. The spatial flexibility has proven very functional when the two kids were still living at home as the separation of spaces with small courtyards and organisation of parents, work areas and kids areas on opposite sides of living and socializing central space.

Sustainability Features

Years Open
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Efficient lighting

    • Energy efficiency:
    • two small hot water heaters dedicated for kitchen and bathroom can be turned off or put on a timer to be operating only when needed
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • External planting
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal chimney
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans

    • Active heating cooling:
    • Orientation, channelling breezes into compressed courtyards, excellent cross ventillation, pelmeted curtains on glazing and ability to isolate the spaces being heated, vertical stack ventillation in conjunction with correctly placed ventillation shutters, ability to open shutters and sliding doors positioned carefully to capture sea breezes , also using compression of breezes to increase air flow and shutters at the top of stairwell to activate stack vertical airflow and draw air through the house without fans
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Grey water system
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 160L
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Water tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 2000L
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
    • Window Protection:
    • Awnings (external)
    • Sustainable materials:
    • -Low cost construction methods, handmade components stockpiling recycled material to design with the collected stockpile of framing timbers, doors and windows, roofing material from almost new decomissioned rooves discarded inthe neighbourhood by insurance after hail storm, steel, stadioum flooring etc -Design incorporates and repairs all existing structures on site and modifies them slightly to fit into the new arrangements of spaces and openings. -Rooms separated by small courtyards to bring in ligtht and air - particualar doors and windows can be opened to channel sea breeze. This separation inproves acoustic privacy as some dividing walls are not shared reusing composite units from other buildings eg floor panels salvaged include flooring and joists which were installed as floors and walls in the new house to save and reuse labour that had already gone into making them -Not all recycled timber was dressed again, keeping the grey patina and marks of history thereby using less power to prepare and recycle the material -Hinged timber shutters next to and inconjunction with fixed glazing is a low cost system for bringing natural light and air -Modular dimensioning to match available standard sizes of plywood panels to reduce waste -Use of Natural materials - recycled timber, stone paving, pebbles, Plywood wall and ceiling linings -The home can be operated to maximise heating and cooling by separating or opening up the spaces, it expands and contracts to make the most of the pot-belly fire in the living room only -Bathroom and laundry have clear roof to reduce mould growth by direct sunlight and alleviate the need to turn the lights on when the moon is out -excellent structural engineer working in close collaboration with the architect to allow minimum structural sizes and strategies for minimising the overall quantity of material and cectional sizes used - efficient structures using membrane floor systems, certification of recycled material for structural adequacy -use of waffle concrete slab to reduce the amount of concrete use as well as insulate below the slab to maximise heat as well a coolth storage in the concrete to modetare internal temperatures throughout the year. The entire north facing wall is glazed with the solar access controlled using devices such as 750mm eaves overhangs , deciduous planting , sheer curtains, ventillation to have full control of how mush sun falls directly on the burnished slab finish and at what times of day and year. -
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Appliances
      Bathroom cabinets
      Copper pipes/fittings
      Kitchen cabinets
      Light fixtures / fittings
      Metal sheeting
      Roofing material
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      External walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – polyester
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R2.6
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • breathable membrane and upt to 150mm bulk insulation -R3.5
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R2-3.5
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R3
    • External Walls Type:
    • Bulk – polyester
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 1.4Kw which is absolutely sufficient for our low energy usage needs
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • apptox 180K, ongoing
    • Cost estimate of sustainable home/features:
    • 150K
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $400K saved in construction methods and material selection choices
    • House Size
    • 180
    • BAL Rating
    • No BAL rating requirements at time of construction
    • Roof
    • Insulated panel (sandwich panels)
      Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Lightweight construction (timber frame)
    • Window and Door Types
    • Awning
      Sliding windows/doors
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Minimum 110cm wide hallways
      No Corner cupboards
      Window openings easily accessible
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 2
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Bee keeping
      Edible garden
      Frog friendly
      Local indigenous plants
      Native plants
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
      Make jams/conserves
      Plastic free household
      Tool exchange/library
      Swap with friends and neighbours
      Waste free/reduced construction site
    • Healthy home features
    • Carpet free - tiles/concrete/timber flooring throughout
      Chemical free cleaning products used
      Cross flow ventilation
      Formaldehyde free cabinets
      Indoor plants for air filtration
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural fibre furnishings
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes
      VOC free paints/sealer/varnish
      Wax based sealer/finish

    • Healthy Home
    • no glues used in framing and flooring, internal timbers are not always sealed with acrylic or oil based coatings, minimised paited surfaces outside and inside to reduce micro pollution as paint peels into the environment, minim ise the use of new manufactured material to reduce resurce overuse and hence embodied energy of the building
Ettalong Beach NSW 2257
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • Continual Improvement
    • Builder
    • owner builder
    • Designer
    • Milos Obradovic, Site Studio Architecture

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